‘Living with Bielsa wore me down’

Former Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta has said that ‘living with Marcelo Bielsa wore him down’.

Amorebieta’s contract at San Mames runs out this month and, having had the offer of a new one withdrawn, will move to England to join Fulham next season.

However, speaking at a publicity event in Madrid, the Venezuelan international told of what life at the club was like under the recently-departed Bielsa.

“Living with Bielsa for a long time wears you down. It’s not easy going and he likes to control and analyse everything, his own team, the opposition, every player. He changes his mind over a lot of things,” revealed the 28-year-old.

Even so, Amorebieta did recognise the strengths of the Argentine, who led Los Leones for the past couple of seasons.

“With Bielsa we achieved important things, like reaching two cup finals. That is very difficult, so full credit for what he did.”

Amorebieta played just 17 times last term – 11 in La Liga, two Copa del Rey games and four Europa League matches – due to injury and being left out of the squad for technical reasons, and he says it has been hard.

“It was a difficult year for me. From being in the starting line-up I went to sitting on the bench or in the stands. I’ve been at the club 17 years so it was very hard mentally and I’m still not totally recovered.

“In taking the decision to leave I don’t know whether or not it has affected me. It’s tough to get over it and I’ve still not done that, so that has affected me, but it was the right moment.

“I’d have liked to have left in another fashion, to go out defending the team last season. I wasn’t able to do that on the pitch,” said Amorebieta, who now hopes to show his worth in English football.

“I’m going to a type of football where there is a lot of contact and now I have to demonstrate what I can do,” he added.

Tags Amorebieta Bielsa Fulham